Low-cost medical insurance for teenagers and children is available, and can be purchased online from major top-rated companies. Affordable health care for young adults is also not expensive. These types of plans provide comprehensive medical benefits for at a reasonable cost. More than four out of five persons qualify for a federal subsidy or Medicaid, although you do not have to utilize government resources. Generally, dependents under age 26 may remain on a parent’s Marketplace plan and the cost of coverage is low. Many applicants qualify for plans that either have a $0 monthly premium or cost less than $50 per month. CHIP is also a low-cost option that provides outstanding benefits.
We help you find the best options, so you can easily apply for coverage from the most respected companies. The top portion of this page makes it easy for you to enter your zip code so you can compare the top low-cost plans. Free quotes can be viewed in a few minutes. Typically, about half of all plans can be purchased (or enrolled in) for less than $50 per month. Large networks of physicians, specialists, pediatricians, and medical facilities are typically available. In household with Medicare-eligible parents, young dependents can select private, Marketplace, or non-Obamacare options.
NOTE: For Marketplace plans (this excludes short-term and non-compliant policies), pediatric dental and vision benefits must be offered as an option. However, they do not have to be accepted. Also, it is possible to qualify for CHIP benefits in a household where the parents’ income excludes them from eligibility. Separate private vision and dental plans can be purchased, regardless of the type of medical plan you own. Dental plan categories include high and low benefit plans. Waiting periods on selected benefits and limited orthodontics coverage is likely. Dental discount plans are inexpensive, but include higher out-of-pocket costs.
Mandatory Preventative Coverage
Preventive benefits are one of the most important coverages that young adults should have on their healthcare plans. Fortunately, most policies (some temporary contracts are exceptions) cover wellness-related costs without any out of pocket expenses. And thanks to the Affordable Care Act, in addition to annual physicals, many other items are covered with no cost, coinsurance, deductible, or waiting period. From the first day of the effective date of the policy, qualified benefits are offered.
Some of these include immunizations to age 18 (Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Tetanus, Hepatitis, Flu, etc…) obesity counseling, vision exams, depression screening, autism and behavioral assessments, fluoride supplements and many more! The full list can be provided upon request. As new common conditions are diagnosed and found, they will at some point be added to a list of benefits. Many preventive screenings are also now included in government “mandates,” which are part of the ACA (Affordable Care Act) legislation that was passed nine years ago. Pandemic-related expenses (including COVID-19 and Omicron-testing) are often fully-covered on private and group plans.
Additional benefits that are covered, although less likely to be used include: HIV, lead, hearing and blood pressure screening, alcohol and drug abuse counseling, iron supplements for the anemic, developmental testing, Bilirubin screening for newborns, fluoride varnish, and STI screening and counseling. Policy limitations and caps of the number of allowed office visits (without meeting a deductible) should always be considered when applying for a new plan or changing from an existing policy. The out-of-pocket cost of non-generic medications must also be reviewed. Specialty drugs are the most expensive options and can result in thousands of dollars of personal expenses.
Leaving Your School Or University Plan
If you are making a transition from high school or college to the work force, you will need basic benefits. Prices are very affordable because of your age and the expected number of claims. You may also be able to remain on your parent’s plan if you’re under age 26. In some situations, depending on the contribution of your employer, remaining on a parent’s plan may result in better benefits at a cheaper cost. But, naturally, each situation is different, since employee-provided benefits can widely vary in cost and coverage. Many universities no longer offer primary medical coverage, but instead, offer supplementary healthcare packages including the local university medical center.
If you are not eligible to stay on a parent’s plan, or simply choose not to, you can apply for an Exchange policy in your state. Whether it’s during Open Enrollment, or a “Special Enrollment Period,” you won’t have to prove insurability and a customized policy can be purchased to best meet your current needs. Large companies must also offer coverage to household dependents under the age of 26. Multiple carriers are available in all states, although selected counties in certain states may only feature a single company.
For example, most states offer catastrophic Marketplace policies between $85 and $220 per month. “Bronze” level contracts are typically more expensive. If you live alone and your income (assuming no dependents) is about $20,000 or less, you should qualify for a subsidy that will reduce the premium. Subsidies are not offered for alternative Christian medical coverage. Prices for younger applicants are not expensive, but benefits may be less than what is offered on a conventional group policy. Adult dental and vision benefits may be able to be added as riders or stand-alone contracts.
Sample Monthly Rates Of Cheapest Plan In 15 Different Areas – Prices Based On 22 Year-Old With $32,000 Of Annual Income (Subsidy Included)
$1 – Baltimore (Kaiser MD Bronze Value 6700/40/Vision)
$73 – Cincinnati (Anthem Bronze Pathway X HMO 8700)
$17 – Dallas (Friday Bronze Basic)
$69 – Cleveland (CareSource Marketplace Bronze)
$35 – Indianapolis (CareSource Marketplace Bronze)
$64 – Chicago (Ambetter Essential Care 1)
$26 – Philadelphia (Keystone HMO Bronze)
$23 – Jacksonville, Fl (Ambetter Essential Care 1)
$0 – Charlotte (Bright Healthcare Bronze 7200)
$1 – Nashville (BCBS Blue Home Bronze 8700)
$50 – Detroit (Ambetter Essential Care 1)
$20 – Pittsburgh, Pa (UPMC Advantage Bronze $6,700/$0)
$69 – San Diego (Sharp Health Plan Bronze 60 Performance)
$26 – Tulsa (Friday Health Plans Bronze Basic)
$0 – Oklahoma City (BCBS Blue Advantage Bronze PPO 202)
$27 – Portland (Providence Health Plan Connect 8700 Bronze)
$39 – Charleston (Ambetter Essential Care 1)
$63 – Phoenix (Bright Healthcare Bronze 8700)
Comprehensive Plans With Office Visits
There are two types of office visit policies that you can buy. The more common type includes unlimited visits to primary care physicians and specialists. Online virtual visits are also typically covered with a low copay and no deductible applied.
Whether your infant, adolescent or teenager has 2 or 12 office visits per year, they are all covered with a copay, usually between $15 and $50 (Specialist visits are typically higher). There is also no cap on how many persons on the policy can utilize the coverage. So whether you have 2 or 10 members on the policy, benefits are paid (assuming you are the parent).
Although not likely, certain accidents, injuries or illnesses may result in years of follow-up treatment. Often, this will require face-to-face visits with specialists. If this scenario occurs, without unlimited office visit protection, your medical bills could quickly mount, and followup treatment is probable.
It is very important to have this feature included on medical plans for students. Whether the issue is mental illness, chronic back conditions, ADHD, diabetes, anxiety, or asthma, placing a cap on primary-care physician or specialists could result in thousands of dollars of out-of-pocket costs, which must be avoided. Therefore, we customize plans to effectively meet the healthcare challenges of full-time and part-time students.
“Catastrophic” Plans – Cheap But With Limitations
An alternative and cheaper type of policy places a limit on how many office visits per year will be covered. The most common coverage is three per person per year. Since young adults don’t require as many doctor visits as their parents, these “Catastrophic” policies should always be researched. Preventive coverage will be identical to more expensive plans (required by the Affordable Care Act), and the lower cost often offsets lost benefits.
These types of policies also often strip down prescription coverage. Since generic drugs are very cheap, there may be very little difference in their copay or limitations. However, the more expensive non-generic and brand-name drugs will cost you more. Often, some of the cheaper plans place a deductible (perhaps $250 or $500) and/or additional coinsurance on the more expensive prescriptions. Specialty and non-generic drugs are the most expensive options.
If lesser-costing drugs can be used, this will not be a factor and the savings will come in handy. For that reason, a generic drug should always be your primary choice, if approved by your physician. Each carrier publishes a list of their “preferred” drugs that should always be examined before enrollment. A “formulary” list of drugs is required for Senior Medicare plans.
NOTE: When comparing “Bronze” tier plans vs. “Catastrophic” tier plans, it’s important to remember that catastrophic contracts do not qualify for a federal subsidy, regardless of household income. Also, as earlier mentioned, Bronze plans don’t limit the number of covered non-preventative office visits. Catastrophic plans do (three). Finally, often, Bronze-tier options are actually less expensive or cost just a few dollars more per month. During Open Enrollment, you are permitted to change plans without evidence of insurability.
Age Is An Issue
Age also must be factored in to help determine the right kind of policy to purchase. A junior or high school student is going to have slightly different needs than someone in college or perhaps a student that has just graduated from college. If a teenager is more active, an off-Exchange accident rider can be considered if the cost is not prohibitive. This will substantially reduce your out-of-pocket cost for accidental injuries. NOTE: The riders are not necessarily available through your enrollment policy. They usually have to be added independently.
Often, the extra monthly premium is less than $15 per month so it may be very cost-effective. However, if you are asked to pay as much as $50 per moth (or more), you may be over-paying for the benefits you may or may not receive. Occasionally, one of your credit cards may furnish a basic accidental coverage that pays a portion of a claim.
Additional low cost dependent insurance information can be found on our website. And for self-employed persons, these inexpensive policies have become increasingly popular in recent years. Since cutting costs is a priority, unless there are existing medical concerns, low-cost plans make financial sense. Note: Several states restrict temporary plan benefits and their duration.
Older Children Have Different Needs
Health insurance needs change for persons that are in their 20s. Annual physicals and OBGYN visits are used more often and flues and viruses don’t seem to occur as often. For this reason, the type of policy should be customized to meet more specific needs. We help you find the exact plans that are the most suitable. We also keep you informed of changing trends in the healthcare industry. Depending on where you live, several different carriers will be the best option. These carriers may be national or local companies.
Finally, if you get married, your problems may be solved if your spouse carries benefits either through an employer or an individual policy. You can be added to the existing contract, although you will likely have to accept the same benefits that your new spouse had. If it isn’t a good fit, at the end of the year, an Open Enrollment is always available. Typically, Group and private OE periods occur about the same time.
If a separate policy is desired, you will qualify for an SEP (Special Enrollment Period) which will allow you to choose a Marketplace plan that is eligible for subsidies. Healthcare benefits for young adults that used to be in foster care is also available through many organizations. Financial assistance may be provided federally, along with state and local options.
Young adult health care is not expensive and there are hundreds of plans that can be easily compared. The free online quotes we provide (along with our free service) will help you pay less for the right kind of coverage. Personalized policies will help reduce your premium and maximum out-of-pocket costs.